Today the 31st January 2016 saw the opening ceremony for Black History Month hosted by the Pan African Coalition of Organizations (PACO) held at the Pier Head and Brown's Beach.
Although few in number, we paid homage to those who came before us, those who were forced to make this journey and who survived and rose up from the pits of death to fight for their and our liberation and we could feel their presence.
At the Pier Head we were told some of our history many did not know. We were told that the spot we stood on was a mass grave, an open pit that the bodies of those who did not complete the physical trip of the slave ship were thrown in and covered up. It was covered up then and continues to be covered up today. These are the stories of my people that must be told.
Having survived the horrors of the slave ship our ancestors were then to face hell in the place they were Barbadosed to. As libation was poured to these sisters and brothers who faced the abject brutality and continued, thus we might continue, they could almost be felt acknowledging our presence and giving thanks for our recognition of the sacrifices they made yesterday for us today.
As the drum rang out on Brown's Beach and tributes were paid, it was heart breaking to see numerous people on the beach unperturbed and oblivious to what was taking place and probably what had taken place on the beach they now were relaxing and enjoying themselves on. Very few came to inquire on what was taking place and those that came .... well let's just say we need to educate ourselves more about ourselves.
Ras Iral enlightened us on the usages and history of the Garrison and surrounding areas. It was also a point made that the UNESCO designated heritage sites do not represent the enslaved and glorify the murderous, raping history of a vile people. A sister in a powerful presentation took to task the fact that we celebrate for a whole week, an event that was not short of criminal and I will add, inhumane, called the Holetown Festival. This festival marks the arrival of the British to the island and as we well know, what came with them was death and destruction for the natives of the island.
Since we celebrate the murders and rapists that landed on this island, in what way do we then celebrate the indigenous of our island? I don't think we do. We celebrate Crop Over, which marked the success of a European venture, the business of Sugar Cane, the industry which the African was enslaved to toil in. I should really say one of the industries we were brought to slave in.
Why do we celebrate these festivals that have nothing to do with us besides our victimization? I say, it is because we have not been taught the full truth of our sojourn in hell. There are those who wish us not to remember so they may continue reaping the benefits of our sweat, tears and blood. The question now is what shall you/we do about this situation? How do we provide the next generation with the tools that they might rise above the lies and half truths, the untold and incomplete stories of the African's journey to and through hell.
I share with you some images and video footage from this morning's activity and remind you not to miss events and activities being held to celebrate ourselves as Global Africans.
On Friday 5th February at Art Forms, Shop 21 in Pelican Village, we celebrate the life and work of Robert Nesta Marley known to us as Brother Bob. It starts at 5pm with Rastafari drumming and chanting. This will go until 7 pm and then we have several talented persons paying tribute to the legend in song. Be sure not to miss this one.
Activities for the month can be seen on the Black History Month calendar in our advertisements. Click on the image of the poster for a readable sized image.
Also click the link below for information on a week of celebrations for Black History Month hosted by the Mount Pisgah Spiritual Baptist Church.
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Videos and Images from the opening ceremony for Black History Month 2016.
This is the only coverage of this event that is available for anyone and everyone to view. We ask you to help us create our own Pan African media portals by making a donation to the African Heritage Foundation, Registered Charity No 1112, through this website. These videos were taken with a phone by a 15 year old sistren called Iyore. We are in need of cameras and voice recorders to effectively cover our events so that we may share them with you. All donations are welcome and we invite you to subscribe to the website and keep us a favorite and check in with us regularly.
We will be making an effort to cover as many and as much of our celebrations this month as we can with the resources we have available to us.